This is really neat — a friend and colleague of mine at the University of Toronto worked up the academic pedigree of our (mutual) graduate advisor Emil Wolf, using data from the Mathematics Genealogy Project. In short, Emil is a direct descendant (student of a student of a student of…) of such luminaries as Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei! This in turn means that I’m also a direct descendant of these amazing scientists!
What does this mean for me? Well, not much, really! It is rather fascinating, however, to see how much of physics can be traced directly back to some of the oldest practitioners. It emphasizes again that physics, and science in general, is a process which builds upon the knowledge developed by those who have come before.
So, now that we know that, what’s your Erdős number? 🙂
I am, quite frankly, afraid to ask!
According to the AMS collaboration distance calculator, you and I have the same Erdős number: 5. (Apparently, I’m not in their database yet myself, but I plugged in my co-authors and found the shortest route.)